Four of the 11 Richmond police officers investigated in connection with the Celeste Guap case will be fired, according to news reports, citing statements from City Manager Bill Lindsay and Mayor Tom Butt.
The scandal involved a number of law enforcement officials from multiple Bay Area agencies who reportedly had improper contact with Celeste Guap, the alias used by a teenager and self-proclaimed sex worker from Richmond. Her real name is not being used as she is considered a sex trafficking victim.
An internal investigation into 11 Richmond officers found to have had improper contact with the teenager found that none had committed a criminal offense. None had had improper contact with Guap, age 19, when she was underage, the city says.
However, all had violated RPD rules and ethics to varying degrees.
According to a statement by Lindsay, as quoted in the East Bay Times:
“It is my belief that the actions in question have no place in a city department that has worked hard to become a national model for community policing. Our community places its trust in us and expects us to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct. Preserving that trust requires that we be decisive in addressing behavior that violates these standards.”
Two of the 11 officers implicated in the scandal left the department for unrelated reasons, police said. The officers being fired have not been identified and all disciplinary decisions related to the case could be appealed.
Guap has filed multi-million dollar claims against cities and counties employing the law enforcement officials involved, including $30 million from Richmond. She is being represented by civil rights attorney John Burris.
The scandal came to light after an Oakland police officer who had had a sexual relationship with Guap committed suicide and left behind a note implicating other officers. Law enforcement officials from multiple Bay Area agencies were found to have had improper contact with the teenager and self-proclaimed sex worker from Richmond.
A number of officers in Alameda County are facing criminal charges, and ” charges against more officers are expected to be filed in other jurisdictions,” the Times reported.